To expand the national conversation around the ongoing threat of gun violence to schools across the country, ShotSpotter, Inc. released newly compiled data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area.
There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analysed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays.
The study yielded the following results:
- 4,856 incidents in total were detected, averaging 93.4 incidents per week or 13.3 incidents per weekday across the 2,320 schools
- The 100 schools with the most gunshot incidents averaged about 23 weekday incidents in 2017
- The highest round count incident was on April 10, 2017 (Monday) at 10:36 AM involving 29 rounds
With more law enforcement agencies using ShotSpotter, many communities are now prioritising expansion to school areas as part of their gun violence reduction strategies"ShotSpotter gunfire detection expansion for FUSD
“We believe persistent gun violence around schools has become a terrifying reality for many cities and a variety of research shows that being exposed to any regular gunfire activity causes trauma in children, which can lead to negative long-term health and psychological issues including PTSD,” said Ralph Clark, President and CEO of ShotSpotter. “According to the Baltimore Sun, nearly one-third of children exposed to violence experience PTSD, very similar to what soldiers’ experience after fighting on the front lines in a war zone. With more law enforcement agencies using ShotSpotter, many communities are now prioritising expansion to school areas as part of their gun violence reduction strategies.”
The City of Fresno, California – a ShotSpotter customer – recently expanded its ShotSpotter installation to now include outdoor gunfire detection for 65 school areas across the city. The expansion is designed to protect the inner urban communities in Fresno most impacted by illegal gunfire and children in the Fresno Unified School District (FUSD).
ShotSpotter alerts us almost instantaneously to any outdoor gunfire in the area and provides a pinpoint location for fast response"
Prompt alert to gunfire incidents
“Fresno has seen firsthand the benefits to our community with ShotSpotter gunfire detection. We made a conscious choice to protect our schools and their surrounding neighbourhoods,” said Fresno Police Chief, Jerry Dyer. “With funding from the FUSD, the City of Fresno and a federal grant, we now have a total of 65 public K-12 schools within the ShotSpotter coverage area. ShotSpotter alerts us almost instantaneously to any outdoor gunfire in the area and provides a pinpoint location for fast response.”
“Gun violence incidents, the exposure to normalised gunfire, and the ongoing threat of a school shooting is an American tragedy that we must address for all of our children,” added Clark. “We are actively working with city leaders, communities and law enforcement to implement tangible and proven solutions for reducing gun violence and ensuring safer outdoor school areas. With ShotSpotter, cities can count on fast, accurate response to any gunfire event.”